A Thing
The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

November 10, 2014 • Issue 14:11:01

GS Book Notes:
Making plans, taking action

Three books recently added to our bookshelf look like good additions to any entrepreneur’s library. One addresses habits that lead to small-business success; the other two offer steps to take in only seven days to transform your business.

The One Week Marketing Plan: The Set It & Forget It Approach for Quickly Growing Your Business, written by Mark Satterfield and published by BenBella Books Inc., promises to dispel the idea that marketing is an arduous task that requires months of brainstorming, analysis and implementation. According to Satterfield, you can have an effective marketing plan in place in one week.

He stated the plan is about "gaining visibility in your niche market, educating people about the problems you solve, and having clients call you about how you can help them."

The book provides detailed instructions on how to implement five basic steps. These are to determine your niche market, create a compelling free offer for prospects, develop a one-page website for your free offer; write drip-marketing messages for recipients of your free offer, and write ads that drive people to your website. Also included are instructions for incorporating several marketing boosts, such as blogs, videos and events that augment the marketing plan.

"If you have launched a dozen successful businesses, and you are doing it for fun, let's face it: you probably don't need this book. If not, what you need is to minimize risk and minimize the time you spend working based on assumptions." That's one message conveyed by Dan Norris in The 7 Day Startup: You Don't Learn Until You Launch. In 2013, Norris launched WP Curve, a fast-growing Wordpress support company he co-founded with Alex McClafferty, in just seven days. This was after two prior business ventures had produced disappointing results over 14 years.

The daily steps Norris details involve learning how to tell good ideas from bad and picking the best idea; coming up with a minimum viable product; selecting a business name; creating a website for your business; getting your business noticed by enough people to determine whether it’s viable; measuring what success means to you; and finally, launching your venture. The book hit No. 1 in the Amazon Kindle Startups category the day it launched.

The Daily Entreprenuer: 33 Success Habits for Small Business Owners, Freelancers and Aspiring 9-to-5 Escape Artists, by Steve "S.J." Scott and Rebecca Livermore, emphasizes the power of habit development and explain how to use it to overcome the daily challenges entrepreneurs face. Scott runs the Develop Good Habits blog, which endeavors to show how continuous habit development can lead to a better life. Livermore is a content strategy consultant for small businesses. The authors determined the primary challenges entrepreneurs face fall into five categories:

  1. Failing to achieve professional goals
  2. Not getting things done
  3. Increasing competition
  4. Poor business relationships
  5. Stress and burnout

The 33 habits are divided among those categories. Some things the authors identify as habits include embrace failure, provide value to customers, wake up early, block time, batch tasks, take frequent breaks, maintain multiple lists, set actionable goals, track your progress, reduce mindless consumption, focus on your strengths, read 30 minutes a day, develop new skills, network and build connections, keep your promises, and know how to listen.

The authors emphasize that you can't rely on motivation and desire when it comes to habit development. "Instead, you need to take action – even when you're not in the mood. … At times, you won't feel like doing one of them. These are the moments when it's important to take action simply because it's an established routine – like showering, eating and brushing your teeth." Thirty-three might seem like a daunting number of habits to incorporate into one’s life, but the authors advise implementing them one at a time, so it's an ongoing endeavor designed to effect real change over time.

Each of these books is available in print and e-book formats. end of article

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